Some dishes are like first love. Teary, memorable, forever. This Greek mincemeat balls in creamy dill flavoured yoghurt with a generous drizzle of pine nuts toasted in chilli-brown butter is no different. Sigh. You can't afford to have a conversation while eating this dish. The marriage of flavours just won't allow you to. Every spoonful is so, so worth it. Try for yourself and you'll know just what I'm talking about.
½ onion, finely sliced
500 grams minced meat
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon crushed red chillies
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup Grana Padano cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Dill yoghurt:
1 cup Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 to 4 dill stalks, finely chopped
For the chilli-pine nut butter:
50 grams butter
½ teaspoon paprika powder
Handful of pine nuts
1. Caramelizing the onions: On low heat, brown the sliced onions. I add a pinch of sugar and salt to help the caramelization process. Once the onions have wilted and are well-browned, take off from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 200-220 deg C. In a deep bowl, add in the minced meat followed by the caramelized onions, crushed garlic, cumin powder, crushed red chillies, chopped parsley, egg, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper for seasoning. Mix well and roll into small meat balls. Line on a baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes.
3. In the interim, in a bowl, mix the yoghurt, crushed garlic and chopped dill. Season with salt and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
4. On low heat, melt the butter and once slightly brown stir in the paprika powder along with the pine nuts. Once the nuts have slightly turned to golden brown, take off from heat.
5. Assembling the plate:
Begin with smearing a dollop of the Greek yoghurt mixture on a plate. Place the baked meatballs and finish off with a generous drizzle of the brown-chilli butter.